Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has called on James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Ayoze Perez to apologize on the pitch after the trio were dropped from the squad for violating COVID-19 rules.
The three players, along with the injured winger Harvey Barnes, proved to have broken the rules by attending a party that Perez held in the build-up to the recent 3-2 defeat to West Ham, for which all three suitable players were lost.
Perez invited about 20 people to a party James Williamson – AMA / Getty Images
Maddison, Choudhury and Perez have all been welcomed back into the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, and Rodgers challenged the three players to prove their commitment to the club by shining on the pitch.
“These guys have made a big contribution for us, we are also in the position we are because of them,” Rodgers said (via Sky Sports News). “They made a mistake and in football there will be a choice again, sometime in their career, and hopefully they will make a better choice.
“We always have to look ahead and that’s past. The best way they can do as players is through their actions on the pitch.
Choudhury has been a Frenchman this season Alex Pantling / Getty Images
“It’s a really exciting period and they come in and are available. They know for the rest of the season that they have to have that level of focus and commitment to achieve what we want.
“We handled it last week when they trained separately and they understood the consequences. We had a meeting at the beginning of the week and we accept their apologies. They were sincere and knew they had made a mistake. The team is based on pride and behavioral expectations and they fell under it. “
Of the three players. it is Maddison’s absence that was felt most. With 11 goals and ten assists in all competitions, the gambler is vying for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Maddison’s England future is up in the air Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images
“I do not know,” Rodgers said when asked about Maddison’s chances of calling. “I do not choose the England squad, I’m just watching Leicester and I’m just interested in what we’re doing here at Leicester.
“I’m not talking to him about England, to be honest. He was very remorseful. I’ve always said I loved working with him. He’s a young player who has made a mistake. He was masculine enough to keep his hand up, he did not hide from it, he was bitterly disappointed in himself and betrayed his teammates. “
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